Young dark haired boy riding bike on a paved path, girl on bike behind him

Investing in Nature

The Open Space Authority invests in nature through the Open Space, Wildlife Habitat, Clean Water, and Increased Public Access Funding Measure, an ongoing $24 annual parcel tax. This modest tax generates approximately $8 million per year and allows the Authority to connect people with nature by opening more preserves and trails and increasing opportunities to protect our scenic landscapes and their precious natural resources for present and future generations.

Measure Q

Measure Q was passed in November 2014 by voters in Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, San Jose, and the unincorporated portions of Santa Clara County with 68% support. In its first five years, Measure Q helped make significant investments in the health of nature and people -- investments that supported nature in and near our communities for clean air and water; protected wildlife, their habitats and movement corridors; preserved natural areas and agricultural lands for their many community benefits, provided opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation; and enhanced our resilience to a changing climate. 
 

Measure Q Five Year Impact Report to the Community


Learn more about Measure Q's Impact
 

Measure T

In November 2020, Measure T, a permanent renewal of Measure Q with no tax increase, was overwhelmingly passed by voters with 81% approval. Santa Clara Valley voters made clear that they consider access to parks and open space essential to their physical and mental health as Measure T falls within the top 10 highest passage rates of countywide measures nationwide. This renewed dedicated funding source allows the Authority to continue its work to preserve our region’s natural heritage, increase public access, protect water supplies, and continue to provide access to nature in the urban core. 
 

Investing in nature Goals

The Authority will use these funds to accomplish the following priorities set by the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint:

Bobcat on trail looking behind at the camera

01

Protect scenic hillsides, open spaces, wildlife, redwood forests, and farmland

Group of family hikers at Sierra Vista overlooking cityscape below

02

Increase public access to open space and help maintain Authority parks and trails

Clear, still pond in green hills

03

Protect precious water resources including creeks, rivers, and streams

Three adolescents students in green sweatshirts looking at butterfly and smiling

04

Create new urban open spaces and environmental education programs

ACCOUNTABILITY

In order to ensure accountability, transparency, and public oversight of all funds collected and allocated under these measures, as guided by the Expenditure Plan, the Authority releases an annual status report to explain the amount of funds collected and expended and provide status of projects authorized to receive funding. The Expenditure Oversight Committee provides independent public oversight for all funds collected and allocated by Measure Q and T to ensure accountability and transparency.

Download Measure Q Status Report

Urban Grant Program

The Open Space Authority Urban Grant Program, funded by Measure Q and T, addresses the needs of urban communities that currently have limited access to preserves and parks. These investments in nature in the urban core are partially informed by the Authority’s Understanding Our Community report, a two-phase study, funded by Measure Q, illuminating the ways in which the Authority and community organizations can focus nature-based investments to help those most in need. The grants provide funding for projects to create parks, trails, urban farms and community gardens, and engage children and youth through nature-based education programs.